Since the early 2010s, academic and policy debates about the interlinkages between climate and security have expanded and deepened. Climate is now widely acknowledged to magnify security risks especially in conflict or post-conflict contexts. This relationship is viewed as complex, dynamic and indirect, involving a wide range of intermediate variables. However, this discussion – and hence, related policy efforts – have tended to occur at highly aggregate levels of analysis, especially national, regional and global ones. Instead, this paper addresses climate-sensitive peacebuilding at the local level. What does local climate-sensitive peacebuilding look like on the ground? What are the promising areas for research and policy responses in fragile and conflict-affected settings? After offering a broad overview of climate-sensitive peacebuilding, we focus on the case of Afghanistan, drawing on specific examples that were in place prior to the 2021 return to power of the Taliban. We find that the traditional Western approach in the country – top-down, focused on hard security rather than human security and highly state-centric – tends to ignore the impacts of climate change. In addition, the dominant security paradigm overlooks the potential of local peacebuilding initiatives that address adaptation and resilience. We argue that climate-sensitive peacebuilding offers a bottom-up alternative to addressing the intersection of these risks in conflict-affected settings.
First, this chapter introduces the three case studies. They are the Lancaster House Treaties, which was established by France and Britain in 2010, the Nordic Defence Cooperation (NORDEFCO), which was launched in 2009 by the Nordic countries, and the Central European Defence Cooperation (CEDC), which was created by six Central European countries in 2011. Second, the chapter explains the research on which the theoretical framework of this book was developed. In this regard, three rival explanations were tested using the method of pattern-matching, which means that the author generated predicted patterns regarding the studied phenomena and compared them to empirically based patterns.
This chapter briefly concludes the book and highlights the major innovations that the book offers. Based on these innovations, the chapter also offers insights that are relevant for both scholars and practitioners.
This chapter applies the concept of ‘the arithmetic of defence policy’ to highlight the relevance of defence budgets in launching new subregional defence collaborations in Europe. This concept points out that European armed forces faced two choices because of significant defence budget cuts after the end of the Cold War and a decrease in the purchasing power of defence budgets as a result of high defence inflation. They either cut their armed forces or started significant military cooperation. This section looks at three case studies (Lancaster House Treaties, NORDEFCO, CEDC) and concludes that low defence budgets do indeed contribute to the willingness of militaries to start new defence collaborations. However, defence budgets that are too low will not allow them to cooperate, drawing off the resources necessary for cooperation too.
The chapter highlights that the most relevant precondition of establishing new subregional defence cooperation in Europe is the existence of the European security community. Thanks to it, it has become unimaginable that EU and NATO members would wage war against each other to solve their conflicts. The section uses the concept of Europeanization to explain how the European security community affects the creation of new subregional defence collaborations. Through three case studies (Lancaster House Treaties, NORDEFCO, CEDC), it demonstrates that subregional actors upload to and download policies and preferences from/to regional organizations (NATO, EU) and the subregional and regional level processes mutually influence each other.
This timely analysis of security in Europe identifies the factors that enable and hinder the creation of networks of defence cooperation across the continent.
Going beyond regional arrangements established by NATO and the European Union, the book considers the sub-regional level by focusing on bilateral and minilateral defence collaborations. It provides a new conceptual framework to assess the rationales, leadership and the complex dynamics within these alliances, and highlights how they shape and interact with NATO and EU initiatives.
This section brings together the insights of the previous five chapters and applies the theoretical framework of the book to explain the dynamics that led to the creation of the three studied case studies (Lancaster House Treaties, NORDEFCO, CEDC). The theoretical framework argues that the factor of the European security community always affects subregional processes from the regional level and vice versa. At the same time, the other four factors interact together on the subregional level in a particular way. The section explains these processes regarding the studied subregional multinational defence collaborations.
The chapter highlights the relevance of the subregional dimension of defence cooperation in Europe, arguing that the hundreds of smaller bilateral and minilateral collaborations are the backbone of European defence. These subregional defence collaborations are less visible than the initiatives of the regional organizations (EU and NATO), but they provide practical benefits and significantly influence NATO and EU dynamics. The chapter not only introduces the broader scholarship on defence cooperation in Europe but also explains the key argument and the theoretical framework of the book. The theoretical framework suggests that two situational and three structural factors are needed to create a new subregional defence collaboration in Europe. The chapter briefly discusses these factors and how they interact with each other, setting the scene for the later chapters, which study each factor individually.
This chapter clarifies key definitions that it is necessary to follow the argument of the book. It defines the concepts of Multinational Defence Cooperation and region and subregion. Multinational Defence Cooperation (MDC) is defined as any arrangement where two or more Defence Policy Communities work together to enhance military capability in a permanently structured way. The chapter highlights that any MDCs are described subregional in the book, which are not established on the European regional level in NATO and EU frameworks. Regional level defence cooperation is understood as NATO and EU projects, as they are European regional-level organizations. The chapter also describes the main processes of defence cooperation in Europe between 1990 and 2010.